Choosing pollen-rich flowers for our gardens will help provide much-needed food for our bumblebees and other pollinating insects. These pollinating insects are in decline with one third of the 99 bee species at risk of extinction. There are many pollinator friendly plants to choose from and they will make for beautiful colourful gardens.
When visiting garden centres choose single-flowered varieties or perennial plants as they are pollinator friendly. Annuals or double-flowered are generally poor sources of nectar and pollen.
There are ten ways we can help pollinators –
- Let dandelions bloom as they provide for for hungry bees in spring
- Reduce mowing – mow every 6 weeks from April to allow flowers like clover to grow and provide food
- Plant pollinator friendly bulbs like crocus or snowdrops as they provide better food than daffodils and tulips
- See the website for pollinator friendly bedding
- Native flowering trees should be planted for example Willow, Hawthorn and Blackthorn as they provide important food for pollinators
- Overuse of sprays will make it difficult for pollinators to find enough food to feed from
- Most bees need bare soil to rest. Create a small south-facing bank to provide shelter
- Put up signage to inform the public where land is being managed for pollinators. See website for templates
- Help educate the next generation – download the Junior Pollinator Plan
- To help track the increase in pollinator resources in the landscape, log your actions on the website
For more information and to learn more about the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan watch the video below and also visit http://www.pollinators.ie